PPP just released their first Pennsylvania U.S. Senate poll today and it looks like we have a real race here:
PPP's first poll of the 2016 Pennsylvania Senate race finds it picking up pretty much where the 2010 Senate race left off- with Pat Toomey holding a narrow edge over Joe Sestak. Toomey leads Sestak 40/36, similar to his 2 point margin of victory the first time the duo faced off.
Four years into his first term, Toomey's approval numbers aren't terribly impressive. 28% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 35% who disapprove, comparable to the 31/34 spread he posted on PPP's last poll in June. A plurality of voters- 37%- don't have any opinion about Toomey at all. That level of anonymity with voters leaves his fate next year somewhat up to the political winds- if it's another good year for Republicans like the last time he ran he may be alright, but if it's a stronger Democratic year he'll be in deep trouble.
Sestak has largely faded from Pennsylvanians' minds since his 2010 bid as well. Only 40% of voters in the state have an opinion about him with those holding one pretty evenly divided in their feelings. - PPP, 1/20/15
Here are the numbers for the other possible Democrats to go up against Pat Toomey:
Toomey vs. Former Gov. Ed Rendell: 44/41
Toomey vs. MSNBC's Chris Matthews: 42/38
Toomey vs. Attorney General Kathleen Kane: 44/38
Toomey vs. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter: 42/35
Toomey vs. Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Josh Shapiro: 43/31
The poll shows that Toomey is still undefined to the majority of Pennsylvania voters giving Democrats a serious shot at exposing his Tea Party extremism. 2016 will be a better year for Pennsylvania Democrats. The poll did not include former Blue Dog Congressman Chris Carney (D. PA-10) who over the weekend said he was looking into running against Toomey. Sestak of course has been spending the past two years getting ready for a rematch. It's still very early for voters to be paying attention to this race but Sestak will have time and resources to get familiar with the voters again. If you'd like to get involved and donate to Sestak's campaign, you can do so here: